To end the LONG first week back to school the school’s Student Guild, an organization that allows students to enjoy free food and a relaxing atmosphere to do homework, hosted a trip to the zoo. Normally, the cost to the zoo is around $55 for a student and even higher for an adult but the Guild was selling tickets for $35 including transportation to and from the zoo, it was definitely a deal! So that friday we packed our totes full of water and snacks for the day and were off to the zoo!
The Australia Zoo is extremely famous because it was the late Steve Irwin’s zoo that he created and the one we went to was where he brought all his crocs. I found out that he even was a Senior Honorary Member and received a diploma from the university I’m attending! Not only that, but his wife and children reside only a few miles from my school! Not many people can say they go to the same school as Steve Irwin, that’s for sure. I found the zoo to actually be quite sad at times because of the large amounts of remembrance to Steve. You can tell that he was a very loving man who was passionate about animals.
From his passion though, he created this amazing zoo. There were all kinds of animals to see but what I, an animal lover/animal obsessed person, LOVED was the amount of interaction we got to have with the animals, FOR FREE! That’s right, I knew I wasn’t in the states anymore when I was allowed to feed an elephant a kiwi for the price of having my hand smell the rest of the day. We got to pet kangaroo’s, koala’s, and if we had known sooner we could have even been able to pet a tiger!
proof of me petting a kangaroo
proof of me petting a koala
We also attended a croc show where a person swam with a snake, bird roamed over your head, and a guy almost got eaten by an alligator. It was awesome, would have been a TAD cooler if his daughter Bindi did it, but it was cool none the less. After that we headed to a tiger show where a guy swam with a tiger and hugged him and treated him like he wasn’t a big 200 pound tiger planning an attack on his face. There are no words to describe how cool it was to watch a tiger jump from glass, sounds strange, but it happened.
After seeing kangaroos, koala, emu’s, elephants, tigers, giraffes, and much more we started our 20 minute journey back. Zoo’s are probably one of my favorite places to be in the world so I was one happy girl, and I plan to go back when my mom and brother arrive in May.
Flying in Australia is MUCH different than flying in America. Walking through security is a breeze! You don’t even have to take your shoes off! There were few things that you cannot take such as flammable or weapons but you could carry as much liquids as your little heart desired. What was almost scary was that you never once had to show your ID if you went got your ticket electronically so pretty much anyone could get on those planes, as long as you don’t have anything suspicious in your luggage that is.
The actual flight to Melbourne was around two hours but once we got off the flight (walked out into the night’s air to the airport) we realized we were no longer on the beautiful Whitsunday’s Islands. Instead of 32 degrees Celcius (around 90 degrees), it was around 12 (54 degrees). I had NOT packed for this kind of weather.
The first day we headed to the markets. It was a girl’s DREAMLAND. Very cheap souvenirs, jewelry everywhere and all kinds of clothing stops. On our trip to Melbourne there were only five of us so it was a lot easier to get around the shops with fewer people. The first thing I bought was $5 leggings, probably the best $5 I have ever spent because the weather did not get any warmer and me and another girl who had only brought shorts wore them for the next four days to stay warm. Another very good purchase was a “head scarf” which could be accessorized as a scarf OR a headband that covered your ears, genius!
After the markets we walked around the city for the rest of the day. It was Easter Sunday so not many things were open but we walked continually for around 10 hours. We found the cutest ally ways with graffiti and yummy places to eat. We even found a locally run shop that sold $4 subs that were bigger and better than a Subway 6″! It was amazing, especially after paying $20 a meal at the islands (not kidding, the cheapest thing was $9 and it was a bowl of potato wedges, you could buy a cheeseburger for $14 but if you wanted chips/fries you had to pay around $6!).
The following day we headed to our first adventure in Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road. It took around two hours by bus to get to our first stop: The Twelve Apostles. Beautiful does not begin to describe it. I can show you a million pictures of it and you would still not be able to understand how amazing it is to watch the water hit against the rocks. It could have been a tad warmer, it was still only in the 50′s, but it was worth it. We headed down to the beach to get a few pictures by the water when Andrew decided he wanted a picture on this rock. So my friend Becky and I headed down near the water to take his picture. Suddenly, out of NO WHERE a HUGE wave smashes into us. Unfortunately for Becky she had moved 10 steps in front of me to get a better photo and was hit with the blunt of the wave. She toppled to the ground holding both her camera and Andrew’s in the air. I tried running, lost one of my flip flops and almost went swimming like she did. Luckily, I didn’t get as wet but the water was up to my belly button! Becky had lost both of her shoes and was freezing. I saw our flip flops coming in with the next wave so Andrew and I braved the wave and ran after them, it was so scary. I literally thought I was going to be sucked into the wave and out into the ocean but we got them safely. Our guide comes running around the corner telling us to hurry the tide was coming in…as if we didn’t figure that out. Another huge wave just like the one that hit Becky and I started heading straight towards us! We screamed. But everyone got to a dry spot before the wave could hit us. Let me tell you the next hour in wet clothes in 50 degree weather was all but ideal, but it was a funny story to tell afterwards.
photo after saving my flip flops from the wave
After the Apostles we headed to a rain forest where we got to see different kinds of wildlife, not exactly the most exciting thing, but it did house the world’s deadliest snail. The snail would poison you think eat you because it a carnivore, crazy right? We didn’t stay long at the rain forest and headed towards our cottage where we would be spending the night. The driver pulled over to a trailer park of all things and told us to look up in the trees, that is where I saw my very first Koala! It was amazing they were everywhere! We went to another tree and there was one that was awake! This is not a normal occurrence because this animal is the second laziest animal in the world, it sleeps for 20 hours in a day! It was amazing.
The next day we got to do what is top ten of my favorite moments thus far and that is when we fed kangaroos. We went to a wildlife reservoir where we only had to pay a dollar to get a huge container of food. We headed out to the kangaroos first and there were probably 20 of them that had been rescued by this family run business. There was even an albino one! It was amazing to watch them dig their faces into your hands, you had to watch out for the big ones though, they were pretty smart and would dig in for the container and sometimes knock it out of your hand. This rescue center also had koala’s and tasmanian devils!
After saying goodbye to the kangaroos we headed to our last destination, Phillp Island. Phillp Island is famous for it’s Penguin Parade. I didn’t even know penguins could live in such warm climates but apparently they can. At sunset around two thousands people joined in bleachers to watch hundreds of penguins come in from the ocean to their homes. They were SO ADORABLE.
The following days in Melbourne we headed into the city and got more shopping done, perfect vacation if you ask me. The food was always a tad overpriced unless you found the right places. I did have to splurge a little and buy a $3.80 cupcake, but it was worth it, best cupcake I’ve ever had.
best. cupcake. ever
Melbourne was an amazing city and I am so happy I was able to experience it. This friday I am going to the Australian Zoo then in less than a month I will be heading to the Gold Coast to see a concert. I never want this trip to end.